In case you haven’t been keeping up with the metal magazines, you should know there’s a full-fledged revival of old-school thrash metal underway. If you ever wore a bullet belt or a black leather vest over a denim jacket, this thrash resurgence—a rekindling of the galloping rhythms, mosh-pit breaks, and barking vocals of early Metallica, Anthrax, Exodus, and Testament, with a dose of crossover punk like D.R.I. and Cryptic Slaughter—is like high school all over again.
Bands like Municipal Waste, Evile, SSS, and Fueled by Fire probably don’t have any members who were old enough to drive when Slayer’s Reign in Blood was released, but they all riff their way through this compilation like Metallica’s Black Album never happened. The appeal of Thrashing Like a Maniac, unfortunately, is the kind of nostalgia that borders on parody. The bands seem to take themselves pretty seriously (aside from “Zombi Brew” by Gama Bomb and “The Art of Partying” by Municipal Waste) but the whole movement reeks of tribute-band precision. These bands have perfected a photorealistic (just look at some of their promo shots!) recreation that may serve as a useful antidote to the glut of melodic metal bands with hardcore breakdowns. But wait until the end of the year. See how fresh this stuff sounds then.